NHL

NHL: Surging Lightning take down Atlantic Division-leading Bruins

By Sports Desk March 27, 2024

Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 23 shots and Nikita Kucherov scored to take over the NHL scoring lead as the surging Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Atlantic Division-leading Boston Bruins, 3-1, on Wednesday.

Mitchell Chaffee and Brayden Point also had goals for the Lightning, who improved to 7-0-1 in their last eight games to move within two points of Toronto for third place in the Atlantic Division.

Point, who has six goals and two assists in the last four games, and defenseman Victor Hedman both returned after missing one game with lower-body injuries.

Danton Heinen had the lone goal for Boston, which lost its third in four games and missed an opportunity to jump over the Rangers and take over the league lead in points.

Kucherov’s empty-net goal capped the scoring and gave him a league-leading 124 points, one more than Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon.

Senators score 5 in 1st in win over Sabres

Shane Pinto had a goal and three assists and Joonas Korpisalo stopped 34 shots as the Ottawa Senators rolled to a 6-2 rout of the Buffalo Sabres.

The Senators scored five times in the first period to chase starter Ukko-Pekka Luukonen, who allowed the first four goals on nine shots. Devon Levi stopped 31 of 32 shots the rest of the way.

Artem Zub, Boris Katchouk, Drake Batherson, Jakob Chychrun and Brady Tkachuk all scored in the opening period to help Ottawa win its third straight.

JJ Peterka and Connor Clifton had second-period goals for the Sabres, who have lost three of four and remained eight points behind the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

 

Related items

  • Toronto Maple Leafs name Craig Berube coach Toronto Maple Leafs name Craig Berube coach

    The Toronto Maple Leafs hired Craig Berube as their new head coach on Friday, bringing a Stanley Cup champion to a franchise that holds the longest stretch without a title in NHL history.

    Berube, who guided the St. Louis Blues to their lone Stanley Cup title in 2018-19, comes aboard just over a week after the Maple Leafs fired Sheldon Keefe following a first-round exit in this year's play-offs.

    The 58-year-old Berube, a former Toronto player known for his hard-nosed and disciplined coaching approach, compiled a 206-132-44 record in six seasons with St. Louis. The Blues reached the play-offs in the first four of those seasons, but missed the post-season in 2022-23 and got off to a 13-14-1 start in 2023-24 before Berube was fired on Dec. 12.

    Berube did enjoy instant success after replacing Mike Yeo behind the Blues' bench in November 2018. St. Louis was near the bottom of the Western Conference at the time of the switch, but rebounded to make the post-season before winning three play-off series prior to defeating the Boston Bruins in seven games in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.

    He'll now take over a Toronto team that has won just one play-off series since 2006 and last hoisted the Stanley Cup in 1968, a 56-year drought that stands as the longest in NHL history.

    The Maple Leafs reached the play-offs in all five of their seasons under Keefe, but he won just one of six post-season series and was let go on May 9 after Toronto lost to the rival Bruins in seven games in this year's first round.

    "We had gotten to a place where just a new voice was needed," Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving said in announcing Keefe's dismissal. "And that's the unfortunate part of this business. I do not believe that you turn coaches and you keep turning coaches. I don't think that is the recipe for success at all. I just felt at the end of the day, when I look at the totality of his time here, a change was required."

    Berube, who also spent two seasons as the Philadelphia Flyers' head coach from 2013-15, inherits a talented roster that produced the second-most goals in the NHL this season. Star centre Auston Matthews led the league with 69 goals, the highest individual total by any player in a season since Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux also had 69 for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1995-96.

    A rugged forward who spent 17 seasons as an NHL player with five teams, Berube has assembled a 281-190-72 overall record as a head coach and was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award honouring the league's top coach in 2018-19.

    Berube's hire leaves four teams - the New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks, Seattle Kraken and Winnipeg Jets - still with coaching vacancies. The Buffalo Sabres (Lindy Ruff) and Ottawa Senators (Travis Green) previously hired new head coaches within the last month. 

     

     

     

     

     

  • NBA: Thunder get even with Mavs, Celtics go up 3-1 NBA: Thunder get even with Mavs, Celtics go up 3-1

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 22 of his 34 points in the second half to rally the Oklahoma City Thunder from a 14-point deficit and earn a crucial 100-96 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Monday's Game 4 of a Western Conference semifinal series.

    Chet Holmgren had 11 of his 18 points after halftime and added nine rebounds to help the top-seeded Thunder even the best-of-seven series at 2-2 as they head back to Oklahoma City for Wednesday's all-important Game 5.

    The fifth-seeded Mavericks squandered an opportunity to put the Thunder on the brink of elimination despite setting a franchise playoff record with 13 blocks, including four each from Derrick Jones Jr. and rookie Dereck Lively II.

    Jones finished with 17 points in the loss, while Luka Doncic registered a triple-double for Dallas with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. 

    The Mavericks led the majority of the game and owned an 86-80 advantage just past the midway point of the fourth quarter before Oklahoma City began their late surge. The Thunder seized momentum with a 12-2 run, capped by consecutive 3-pointers from Holmgren and Luguentz Dort, to go up 92-88 with 2:14 remaining.

    Dallas answered on Tim Hardaway Jr.'s 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, but back-to-back baskets by the Thunder's Jalen Williams gave Oklahoma City a 96-91 lead entering the final minute.

    The Mavericks again responded and had a chance to tie it when Doncic was fouled with 10.1 seconds left with Dallas trailing 96-94. The MVP finalist made just one of his two shots, however, and the Thunder sealed the outcome by going 4 for 4 from the foul line in the waning moments.

    Free-throw shooting played a part in the result, as Oklahoma City finished 23 of 24 from the line compared to 12 of 23 for Dallas.

    The Mavericks held a 54-43 lead at half-time after limiting the Thunder to under 35 per cent shooting for the first two quarters, and they stretched the margin to 14 when P.J. Washington hit a 3-pointer to begin the third.

    Oklahoma City closed the gap before the end of the period, though, as they ended the third quarter on a 9-2 run to pull within 69-65 entering the fourth.

    Celtics handle injury-plagued Cavaliers to take 3-1 lead

    In the East, the top-seeded Boston Celtics moved within a game of reaching the conference finals for a third straight year after posting a 109-102 Game 4 win over the short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers behind Jayson Tatum's 33 points and 11 rebounds. 

    Jaylen Brown added 27 points to help Boston take a 3-1 series lead over a fourth-seeded Cavaliers team playing without leading scorer Donovan Mitchell. The All-Star guard was unavailable due to a strained left calf he sustained in Cleveland's 106-93 loss in Saturday's Game 3.

    The Cavaliers also remained without starting center Jarrett Allen, who hasn't played since Game 4 of their opening-round series against Orlando due to a rib contusion.

    Darius Garland kept Cleveland competitive by producing 30 points and seven assists, while Caris LeVert had 19 points starting in place of Mitchell.

    Boston can close out the series at home in Wednesday's Game 5.

    Tatum set the tone right from the outset, scoring 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the first quarter to stake the Celtics to a 37-30 lead after one period.

    The All-Star forward closed out the first half with a 3-pointer that sent Boston into the break with a 62-57 advantage, though Cleveland opened the third quarter on an 8-2 run to move ahead by a 65–64 score three minutes into the second half.

    Boston reasserted control from there, however, as they outscored the Cavs by a 14-4 margin over the next four and a half minutes. Brown had seven points during the spurt, which Derrick White capped with a 3-pointer for a 78-69 Celtics' lead with 4:50 left in the third quarter.

    The Celtics stretched the lead to 98-83 with under eight minutes left, though Cleveland kept battling and put together a 12-2 run to close the gap to 100-95 with three minutes left to play.

    Brown hit a clutch 3-pointer with 1:09 to go, however, to put Boston up 105-97, and the Celtics kept Cleveland at bay the rest of the way as White and Tatum each made two free throws in the closing stages.

  • Toronto Maple Leafs fire coach Sheldon Keefe Toronto Maple Leafs fire coach Sheldon Keefe

    The Toronto Maple Leafs will have a new voice behind the bench.

    The Maple Leafs fired coach Sheldon Keefe on Thursday after the team suffered yet another early exit from the NHL Stanley Cup play-offs.

    Hired by Toronto in November 2019, Keefe led the Maple Leafs to the play-offs in each of his five seasons at the helm, but the team only advanced out of the first round once.

    His firing came five days after Toronto's season ended in the first round with an overtime Game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins.

    "Today's decision was difficult. Sheldon is an excellent coach and a great man; however, we determined a new voice is needed to help the team push through to reach our ultimate goal," Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving said in a statement. "We thank Sheldon for his hard work and dedication to the organisation over the last nine years, and wish him and his family all the very best."

    Under Keefe, Toronto amassed a franchise-record 115 points in 2021-22, and the 2020-21 team won the club's first division title since 1999-2000.

    Although Keefe coached the Maple Leafs to a 212-97-40 record in the regular season, the team sputtered in the play-offs, going just 16-21.

    An Original Six franchise, the Maple Leafs are one of the NHL's most revered clubs, but their futility in the play-offs is galling.

    Toronto has won just a single play-off series in the last 19 seasons and hasn't won the Stanley Cup in 56 seasons - the longest active drought by an NHL franchise.

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.